Day 1 of the revamped Tour Championship format didn't have much of an impact on Rory McIlroy and his peers.
"It's 72 holes of golf," McIlroy said, according to Golf Channel's Rex Hoggard. "Obviously, the start is staggered a little bit, but it didn't feel that much different, to be honest with you, which I guess is a good thing."
Thursday marked the debut of an overhauled finale of the FedEx Cup Playoffs. Justin Thomas, this year's leading points earner, started the tournament on top at 10-under, with the next four players starting at 8-under through 5-under, respectively. The total regresses by one stroke for every five players from then onward.
McIlroy fired a 4-under 66 on Thursday to move within one stroke of the lead - currently a three-way tie - and he's not alone in thinking this week's new arrangement is similar to a traditional tournament atmosphere.
"As the day went on and the scores started shuffling around, it felt more like a normal event," Charles Howell III said.
Round 2 gets underway at 12:00 p.m. ET on Friday.